January 4, 2012 10:59:00 AM
Greta Lane will soon get a facelift.
The Starkville Board of Aldermen voted Tuesday 5-2 to pave the gravel road using a Community Development Block Grant of $98,163.88. The funding will have no tax implications on residents.
Greta Lane, off Highway 12 in Ward 2, runs adjacent to the runway at George M. Bryan Airport. The road is part of the 1998 annexation of west Starkville.
The city has owned the property since the mid-1940s, Ward 2 Alderwoman Sandra Sistrunk said.
Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver and Ward 3 Alderman Eric Parker cast nay votes because of the airport advisory board's concerns of clashing with Federal Aviation Administration guidelines. Carver, airport board liaison, said the FAA strongly discourages paving the road because of the runway protection zones, which require 400 feet between the road and the center line of the runway. Carver said the distance is 370 feet.
"It would also affect future expansion," Carver said. "Greta Lane is not a public road. The airport board gets 98 percent of their funding from the FAA, so they're trying to comply with their guidelines."
Parker said he couldn't make a decision to vote for the paving project until he heard the FAA's official position from the airport board, ultimately casting a nay vote.
Though Greta Lane has approved funding, two other annexed roadways, Sudduth Road and Collier Road, don't. Collier Road, off North Jackson, needs repair to a 1/10 mile strip, requiring clay gravel and hot-mix asphalt for an estimated cost of $47,942.22. Sudduth Road, off Highway 389, is a simpler grading project that will cost approximately $11,840.
Ward 6 Alderman Roy A. Perkins said Sudduth Road is part of the city's overlay street maintenance.
Board votes for funding minibus
The board approved a $28,687 request from the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District to help fund its minibus program for disabled citizens.
The motion passed 4-3, with Aldermen Jeremiah Dumas and Richard Corey and Sistrunk voting against it due to questions about profit margins and lack of funding from the county.
The board has funded the program in the past but didn't earmark funding for 2012 because the planning district's original request lacked audited financial statements, Sistrunk said.
"And it's not just direct costs to busing; it also includes indirect costs," Sistrunk said. "I don't think we have enough specific information to make a vote."
Dumas noted the program's funding is entirely through the city with grant money from the Older American Act.
"(The district) has capital assets greater than or equal to the city's budget," Dumas said. "We need to be aware of that."
Parker, who presented the agenda item and motion for approval, said the service gives more than 5,000 rides each year to disabled residents. Parker also noted the requested amount of funding was $6,000 more than the amount the board voted on and nearly $4,000 more than the 2011 budget amount.
Board votes to remove trailer from West Main
Since late September, a trailer has been sitting at 307 West Main Street, a residential zone where manufactured homes are not allowed.
After several rounds of administrative hearings and squabbles between owner John Bounds and city code enforcers over the zoning violation, the city unanimously voted to give City Attorney Chris Latimer necessary authority to move the trailer. Latimer can also pursue all fine allowed under law, including potential liens and impoundment fees.
Bounds, who has said the home is a Hurricane Katrina Cottage and not a trailer, was scheduled to appear Tuesday for an appeal but didn't because of a family matter.
1. Students accused of statutory rape COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
2. Railroad co. investigating derailment in Columbus COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
4. Champ addresses Columbus youth COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY